In 1908 a series of sixteen postcards by I. Grollman were issued about a wildly popular (with women) hat, The Merry Widow.
A treasure trove of information about the origins of The Merry Widow Hat was provided by Marlis Schweitzer in “Darn That Merry Widow Hat”:The On-and Offstage Life of a TheatrIcal Commodity, circa 1907-1908.
Based on the hat designed by Lucile(Lady Duff Gordon), the Merry Widow hat had it’s debute June 1907 in London. This was the George Edwardes production of the operetta by Franz Lehar, The Merry Widow.
How the hat became almost a star in it’s own right is a riveting saga from stage to street wear. The impact on women’s behavior across the pond and then across this nation tells us this hat had as much to do with female sexuality, politics and gender equality as the 1970’s bra burning.
Happy 28th day of 2011!